Monday, March 23, 2009

Tick-ing time bomb...

I have a phobia about ticks. I often go to the Eastern Cape and certain areas are infested with ticks. When I nearly lost one of my dogs to biliary, I became fanatical about covering them with Frontline, a very effective deterrent.

Imagine my horror when Jamie emerged after a wonderful time exploring the jungle of my garden with a small deadly red terrorist on his forehead, a ticking time bomb. I panicked because one infected bite could mean the end of my nine week old puppy!

I slathered him in Frontline (apparently it is nigh impossible to overdose dogs with this product). So every inch of him; top, bottom and between his toes was covered.

Ironically my sister and I had been admiring my luscious garden and saying what fun my pups would have exploring it. Now all of a sudden I felt surrounded by a deadly jungle in which tick terrorists skillfully hid themselves. I wanted to napalm the whole garden. Anything to protect my child... er, I mean my puppy!

I had never had a tick or flea problem before. Why now? Everyone pointed a finger at the hadedas and heavy rain as the culprits. So they are now the enemy too (poor things).

But what to do to eradicate the ticks from my garden? The problem said the nursery experts is that insect sprays today are much more environmentally friendly and repel insects instead of killing them. But I wanted to kill those damn ticks. It's called collateral damage. A necessary evil in order to save the life of one pup.
Well, you can use a spray said one vet, but the rain will just wash it off. Talk about a Catch-22 situation!

Any way the suspect areas, sword ferns (which are officially aliens) and the plumbago bushes have been severely dealt with and hopefully the problem has been reduced. As for the hadedas, I have learnt that there is not much that will deter them from coming back to roost in my trees.

Meanwhile Jamie gets inspected from top to bottom every day, including between his toes which is actually a very good thing. The puppy socialisation manual says pups need to get used to being handled all over, even their most private parts.

Apparently your vet will be very thankful when it comes to treating your dog.

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